For the past several weeks, I have been reading and thinking about what is called “personal branding.” It’s sort of how you present yourself to the world.
I had been playing around with some of the free tools on Canva.com and came across this series of videos on “Personal Branding with Dr. Talaya Waller” in what they call their Design School. Each video is short and gives good information. At the end, there is an additional explanation of how you can use the Canva.com tools to apply what you have learned, BUT you don’t have to pay anything for most of the Canva.com tools.
I began to realize this was what Gracie had been trying to tell me months and months ago when I was figuring out how to draw friendship. We were discussing some of my recent drawings of her and Bessie.
“Well, I guess they are okay. If that’s what you’re going for. I like it better when you draw on paper with a pencil.”
“What’s the difference?”
“You’ve got everything in there and it doesn’t fit together. Too many big colors. Too many little shapes. Too many of everything! People aren’t going to be able to find us.”
“You’re sure? I took art classes, a lot of art classes.”
Gracie shook her head sadly. My drawings just weren’t going to receive her approval. But I did trust what she had to say. I wanted her to be pleased with my drawings, even if no one else was. These were drawings of her and for her.
“So what do you suggest?” I asked.
“Well, the colors are the main thing. You’re picking colors you like, not colors we like.”
“I see. So what colors do you like?”
“Colors that go with our feathers. Colors that go with our eggs. Soft colors. Hen colors, not rooster colors.”
“I think I see what you mean.”
So that’s what I’ve been thinking about lately. Gracie is a very smart girl, particularly when it came to her advice about color. I’ve begun to think about how color can carry emotion, and part of building a personal brand has to do with emotional value as well.
This morning it began to make more sense to me when I took everyone’s breakfast salad out to them. There was some really nice organic Swiss Chard at the grocery store yesterday and they got a whole bunch of it all chopped up just the way they like it.
Everyone is always eager to see what’s in their breakfast salad, but Pearl is the most eager of all. She is the only one who jumps and kicks out her feet in midair when she is excited. I could not help but say to her, “This is all for you, Sweetie. This is all for you.”
So I went inside and pieced together today’s illustration from different things I have been trying out for backgrounds, drawings of chickens, fonts, and of course, a color palette. All of this is because I am beginning to think more and more of my stories and illustrations as being less about my chickens but for my chickens.
My hope is by doing that, I will also make it for our readers.
There is always room for one more under the shade of the camellias in our little backyard garden. It’s friendly and peaceful here. Chickens and people like friendly and peaceful. – Gracie
Just wanted to let everyone know that I spotted two errors in the eBook text for “How To Explain Christmas to Chickens.” The first was a stray capital “I” on the dedication page. How it got there, I’ll never know! The other was a really weird and awkward sentence in the epilogue.
So I got both of those corrected and uploaded a new interior file for both the Amazon eBook and the Barnes & Noble eBook. While I was at it, I also changed the cover to better match the one for the paperback book. It now has a “softer, fluffier, more chicken-y” chicken on the cover! If you have purchased either of these, they can be reloaded through Kindle or Nook.
We are still anxiously waiting for the paperback proofs from Amazon and Barnes & Noble before making those available. In the meantime, I suppose we should spend more time working on our “personal branding”!